Tuesday, February 24, 2009

a new kind of milk

I wanted to share my most recent discovery and new way to reduce my calories at breakfast.  I really enjoy a bowl of cereal for breakfast and have been using fat-free milk at 45 calories/.5 cup for awhile.  This Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla 'milk' only has 20 calories/.5 cup and also adds a nutty taste that I like to my cereal.  It also comes in a shelf-stable package so you can purchase it and have it available whenever needed.  Make sure you refrigerate before using though -- tastes much better cold.

I found mine at a Kroger supermarket and my husband found them at a local Publix.  It is also available online.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

menu planning monday 02.23.09

Busy, busy week coming up -- Revival at church on Monday-Wednesday evenings and... the beginning of baseball season!  That means menu planning is key to keeping my sanity.  Our first practice is this week and I am happy we have some leftovers because it takes place right smack in the middle of my usual dinner cooking time.  I will start looking for some meals that can be prepared in advance and just warmed up for those busy days of baseball practice over the next month and games starting in April.  I just hope this does not put a kink in our calorie-counting.  I am determined to be prepared this season to bring picnic lunches/dinners to the ballpark so we are not tempted by the hamburgers, fries, and nachos from the concession stand.

:  Mimi's sticky chicken and grilled veggies (leftovers from last week's Hospitality Sunday meal) (baseball practice at 4:45 pm)

Tuesday: Chili-Mac --  chili (leftover from last week's chili cook-off) with tofu shirataki noodles
 (edited to add: do NOT do this.  These noodles did not go well at all with chili.  In fact, the only good use so far I have found for them is in soup.)

Apprehension-Free Wednesday:  Chicken and rice casserole, mixed vegetables, salad and dessert will be served at church. (additional practice at batting cages added 5-6)

ThursdayGinger-rice noodle soup with stir-fried vegetables (baseball practice 4:30-6; Chef D going to Atlanta to hear Ravi Zacharias)

Friday:  Beef filets with baked potato (for the boys) and sweet potato (for me) and a tossed salad (baseball practice added 6-8 pm)

Sous-chef Saturday:  TBD (baseball practiced added 6-8 pm -- this is getting old already and it is only the first week!)

Hospitality Sunday:  I have really enjoyed inviting friends over for lunch at our home after our Sunday morning worship service. It has taken a little more preparation to serve a meal when you have been out of the house since 9 am, but it has been so worth it.  This endeavor has also helped me to realize that it is more important to be hospitable and spend time with friends (new and old) than to be concerned about the state of my house and it's decor. 

If you need more ideas for menu plans, hop on over to OrgJunkie and check it out!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

menu planning monday 02.16.09

For the past six weeks, we have been counting our calories and I have tried to include those counts in my menu plan posts.  Although Chef D and my total daily calorie goals are different (I am gearing for 1200 and he is looking at 2000 calories/day), we try to keep our dinner meal at 500 calories or less.

We are participating in an 'encouragement and accountability group' at church where we are weighing in each Sunday morning.  I was thrilled this morning that I lost 4 lbs. over the past week which brings my total lost since January 4 to 19 lbs.!  Chef D is doing pretty good himself with 27 lbs. lost:)  We decided to get serious about getting healthy for two reasons -- we had let ourselves go and were feeling the consequences PLUS we have a family wedding to attend in April and haven't seen most of the people since we have gained weight.  

So, here's to another week of counting calories and exercising!

Monday: Baked Teriyaki Chicken (277 calories/2 thighs) with basmati rice (150 calories/.25 cup) and steamed broccoli florets (25 calories/1 cup)

Tuesday: Maple-glazed Salmon (285 calories/4 oz.) with whole-grain pilaf  (170/.5 cup) and steamed asparagus (35 calories/15 stalks with .25 tsp butter)

Apprehension-Free Wednesday: Annual Chili Cookoff at church will be this night.  Hot Dogs and dessert will also be served.  Chef D won the competition last year and will be again submitting a superb entry to try to hold on to the trophy (a giant decorative bottle of chili peppers!). Prep:  Prepare thighs for tomorrow.

Thursday: Mimi's sticky chicken thighs (100 calories/thigh) with sauteed zucchini squash with grated parmesan

Friday: --edited-- Chef D is going to the Men's Club sponsored dinner as a part of the Men's Retreat that is tonight and tomorrow morning.  I will do something fun with the boys:)

Sous-chef Saturday: No SCS this week.  Busy day with basketball game, helping friends move, and end of season basketball program

Hospitality Sunday:  Mimi's sticky chicken with grilled vegetables, macaroni and cheese, and long-grain and wild rice.  Blueberry dump cake for dessert.

Menu planning has taken a huge burden from my life.  Thanks for Laura at OrgJunkie for hosting many menu plans to help get it together for a week!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

menu planning monday 02.09.09

We are still watching our calories, so I am continuing to try to choose lower-calories, but still tasty, meals.  Chef D has lost a total of 25 lbs since Jan 4 and I am down 15 lbs!  It is amazing what a little good food, lots of water, and regular exercise can do:)

Monday:  I will be spending all day going on a field trip with my 11 year-old, so I am blessed that Chef D and the boys will be attending our church Men's Club Dinner.  I am on my own, so I will probably have some soup and salad.

Tuesday: Smoked Sausage with fried okra (300 calories) (recipe to come on Monday)

Apprehension-Free Wednesday:  Tamale Pie, corn, pinto beans, salad and dessert will be served at church.

Thursday: Thai Chicken Skewer Wraps (140 calories/wrap) with coconut rice

Sous-chef Saturday:  No sous-chef Saturday since we have church supper club at friends tonight to celebrate Valentine's Day!  

Hospitality Sunday:  TBD.

Go over to OrgJunkie to check out all the other menu plans!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

menu planning monday 02.02.09

We had a good week last week watching our calories.  Chef D lost another 4 lbs. giving him about a 20 lb. weight loss since January 4.  I lost 2 more lbs. and am down about 14 lbs. :)  It seems that counting calories is helping so I will continue to try to choose dinner meals that are 500 calories or less.  I will try to note what the calorie count is for each of the menus posted.  This week's menu will be using up some of the frozen meat/fish in the freezer.

Monday:  Shrimp and Pasta (411 calories -- with a few adjustments from this recipe)

Tuesday:  Grilled Spicy Tex-Mex Chicken (136 calories/4 ounces) with miniature ravioli (135 calories) with sauce (20 calories) and a side of steamed broccoli (25 calories)

Apprehension-Free Wednesday: Dinner served at church will be roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad and dessert.

Thursday: Fish Tacos (290 calories each) with salsa and gaucamole

Friday:  Scrapbooking Crop for the girls, Boys' Night Out for the boys.  

Saturday:  No sous-chef Saturday this week because we will be attending a wedding and reception this afternoon

Hospitality Sunday: TBD.

Many thanks to Laura at OrgJunkie for hosting Menu Planning Monday each week.  Check it out for more menu planning ideas!